There are people in this world, I am not going to go into details about who they are, or what they do, but suffice it to say they focus on one or two of God’s teachings in the Qur’an, or about Islam, and try to make a big deal out of it.
Their approach seems to be: Oh, Islam is so nice and Qur’an is so great, …, but if only Islam did not have this one bad teaching, or if only the Qur’an did not contain this one problem “verse,” then how perfect Islam would be, and how great the Qur’an would be.
As it happens, I know these folks. I know who they are and I understand what moves and motivates them. That is why when these folks tell me to jump, unlike all good Muslims, I say: “Excuse me!?”
That gets their attention. And when they repeat their demand and say: “Jump!” I ask them, with a straight face of course: “And what will you give me in return?”
Their faces are worth seeing when I ask them that question. Their faces turn purple and every color of the rainbow.
They stop bothering me after that.
Here is an example of what I am talking about. I present it in the form of a conversation – between me and them.
They: “Qur’an is great, right?”
Me: “Of course, it is. Can’t you see?”
They: “Of course. Of course. The Qur’an is great. Perfect in every way. But…”
Me: “But what?”
They: “What do we do with this one ‘verse’ that seems to be a problem ‘verse’? It simply does not fit with the rest of the beauty and perfection of the Qur’an.”
They: “So? You have to tell us what to do with this verse? How to reconcile it with the rest of the Qur’an? And with the demands of modernity, rationality, ethics, women’s rights and stuff?”
Me: You don’t like that ‘verse,’ as you call it, correct?”
They: “The ‘verse’ does seem to present a problem, you must admit.”
They: “Simple? How?”
Me: “Yes, simple. Delete that ‘verse’ and proceed with the rest of the Qur’an.”
They: “Delete the ‘verse’? How? How can you do that?”
Me: “Oh, just think God made a mistake. For once. I am afraid the ‘verse’ did not come out the way God really meant it to.”
They: “What are you saying? How can a ‘verse’ be other than what God meant it to be? How can God make a mistake?”
Me: “You know. Everyone is entitled to one mistake. So, this one is God’s. Why don’t you forgive him this once? And then take the rest of what he says in the Qur’an seriously?”
Like I said, you should see their faces. A sight to behold, really.